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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ted Haggard Fired

From the New Life church:

Full text of Saturday's press release

We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted Haggard. Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct.

The language of our church bylaws state that as Overseers we must decide in cases where the Senior Pastor has "demonstrated immoral conduct" whether we must "remove the pastor from his position or to discipline him in any way they deem necessary."

In consultation with leading evangelicals and experts familiar with the type of behavior Pastor Haggard has demonstrated, we have decided that the most positive and productive direction for our church is his dismissal and removal.

In addition, the Overseers will continue to explore the depth of Pastor Haggard's offense so that a plan of healing and restoration can begin.

Pastor Haggard and his wife have been informed of this decision. They have agreed as well that he should be dismissed and that a new pastor for New Life Church should be selected according to the rules of replacement in the bylaws.

That process will begin immediately in hopes that a new pastor can be confirmed by the end of the year 2006. In the interim, Ross Parsley will function as the leader of the church with full support of the Overseers.

A letter of explanation and apology by Pastor Haggard as well as a word of encouragement from Gayle Haggard will be read in the 9:00 and 11:00 service of New Life Church.

Denver Post

Mike Jones, 49, of Denver, had come forward Wednesday and said Haggard had had a paid sexual relationship with him monthly for three years. Jones also said Haggard used crystal meth.

Jones first learned of Haggard's firing in a telephone interview with The Denver Post.

"I hadn't heard," he said. "I'm sad. I didn't want to ruin his life or his family's life."

A popular guest of television news programs the last few days, Jones had just arrived at Denver International Airport following a trip to New York City, where he had appeared on the Today show in the morning.

And though he said he didn't want to ruin Haggard's life, there was too much at stake in keeping silent. Haggard is a vocal support of Amendment 43, which would define marriage in Colorado as being strictly between a man and a woman.

"You just can't have it both ways when you have so much influence over so many people," Jones said. "He should have been a better role model."

Personally I thought the television interview of Haggard, when he was in his car with wife and kids went way too far. I don't see the point of having a reporter question Haggard about the meth and whether he had sex with the hooker in front of his kids.